Why We Rebuilt Our Usability Lab Technology for a Better User Experience

We take pride in helping our clients design and build exceptional user experiences. So it comes as no surprise that we would want to do the same thing with our usability labs – ensure the user experience for our clients is seamless, innovative, and effective by keeping “technology” out of their way.

Early on, most of our studies focused on capturing usability testing on personal computers. Clients would observe test subjects through a one-way window, all sessions were recorded, and in a week’s time, a disc was produced and delivered. As our systems improved, we moved to digital delivery of the recordings. But still, a lag time existed. Product development teams and managers were unable to use the research data in real time.

Watching DVDs of usability tests isn’t the way our clients work anymore. With agile development cycles requiring real-time information, and with clients dispersed around the globe, we recognized that an ideal user experience would be to provide secure access to live user research sessions as they occur.

Outside of geographic challenges, clients aren’t simply testing PC-based products anymore. There are mobile devices, wearable technology, and real-world scenarios inside and outside the lab to consider. How can we accurately capture usability testing on a wide array of form factors and scenarios?

With this in mind, a few weeks ago we wrapped up a comprehensive two-month technology upgrade project in our labs. With infrastructure changes and broadband advancements here at Blink UX, we realized we could better serve our clients with optimized live streaming technology. After some initial testing, we rolled up our sleeves, adopted a leading-edge streaming technology, and built it into our labs ourselves.

The recorded sessions can be immediately made available to our clients. And if you can’t make it to the Blink UX labs, you’re welcome to watch it online in real time.

Working around scheduled studies, we rewired, replumbed, and tested our new state-of-art streaming technologies to capture and broadcast exactly what you would see here in the labs. With multiple cameras, moderators can easily capture and broadcast multi-modal sessions with no disruption to the test subject and to the delight of our clients. Our unique agile technology is seamless – it just works, and it works well.

Our upgrades allow us to now provide the following to our clients:

1. Highest quality live video stream available; up to full HD 1080p resolution.
2. Private space to view your session over industry-standard web security protocols.
3. Easy access by clicking on a link, login, and observe on virtually any connected device.
4. Television broadcast-quality technologies.
5. Live streaming provided from anywhere with an internet connection.

Simply put, by coming to understand our clients’ needs and expectations, we are able to deliver an optimized user experience for them. After all, we are a research and design firm specializing in the user experience.